Saying Farewell to a Friend by PortiaLily Taylor

“Don't be dismayed by good-byes. A farewell is necessary before you can meet again. And meeting again, after moments or lifetimes, is certain for those who are friends.” Richard Bach My best friend died this week. Her name was Kay Mahaffey. She did not achieve world fame or monetary riches, but her life was filled… Continue reading Saying Farewell to a Friend by PortiaLily Taylor

The Tulsa Massacre of 1921: Writing about Hidden Histories by PortiaLily Taylor

“Hidden histories are events of the past that are not widely known or taught. Most of the time, these histories which are not well known have a negative connotation. They are not favorably viewed for one reason or another and so they have been suppressed. Usually, hidden histories revolve around controversial events such as the… Continue reading The Tulsa Massacre of 1921: Writing about Hidden Histories by PortiaLily Taylor

Reading Like a Writer by PortiaLily Taylor

“If we want to write, it makes sense to read—and to read like a writer. If we wanted to grow roses, we would want to visit rose gardens and try to see them the way that a rose gardener would.” ― Francine Prose, Reading Like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and… Continue reading Reading Like a Writer by PortiaLily Taylor

Hello, Protagonist! (Tips on Introducing Your Novel’s Main Character) by PortiaLily Taylor

“Introducing your protagonist to your reader may be the single trickiest job for a novelist. You have to let readers get to know your character in a very short time–then entice us go on a journey with this person into a brand new world. If you tell us too much, you’ll bore us, but if… Continue reading Hello, Protagonist! (Tips on Introducing Your Novel’s Main Character) by PortiaLily Taylor

The Tangle of Words and Emotion from a Child’s Point of View

“I love writing. I love the swirl and swing of words as they tangle with human emotions.” -- James Michener Words and emotions. Emotions and words. Simple concepts. But it’s the swirl, the swing, the tangle of the two, as author James Michener described, that make for good writing.  I recently enrolled in a workshop… Continue reading The Tangle of Words and Emotion from a Child’s Point of View

Must a novel be classified in only one genre?

“Life is more than one genre.” – Juliette Power The inspirational author Juliette Power has lived a life that one could say encompasses many “genres.” She could be labeled with one or all of them – high school dropout, teen runaway, child of suicide, factory worker, world traveler, memoir writer, seer of angels. She can’t… Continue reading Must a novel be classified in only one genre?

Age, Beauty, and Writing Older Characters

"Age before beauty." -- unknown source You’ve probably heard that saying a hundred times. If you’re on the “age” spectrum of the phrase, perhaps, some younger person has uttered the statement as they allowed you to go ahead in line at grocery store. On the other hand, if you consider yourself a representative of youthful… Continue reading Age, Beauty, and Writing Older Characters

Does a Children’s Book Need a Happy Ending?

“If you want a happy ending, that depends, of course, on where you stop your story.” -- Orson Welles After many hours of worry and rewriting, I finally finished the first draft of my middle reader novel, Sarah Finn. Much of the anxiety and editing involved in coming to that milestone regarded whether or not… Continue reading Does a Children’s Book Need a Happy Ending?

Everyone Has a Story. What’s Yours?

Everyone has a story, the air is full of stories. The creative process is mysterious, I don’t know why it is that suddenly a theme will take hold of me and refuse to leave me in peace until I investigate it and write it.. -- Isabel Allende I believe author Isabel Allende's sentiment when she… Continue reading Everyone Has a Story. What’s Yours?

The Alchemy of Reading Your Words Aloud

To be a better writer, read your words aloud. -- Mohsin Hamid Sometimes writing can be such a solitary effort -- hitting the keys of your computer, alone in a space of quiet. Words roaming from place to place within your mind. Silent. Without connection to an outside reality. Then you stop. Look at your… Continue reading The Alchemy of Reading Your Words Aloud